As a Doula, one of the most common questions that I receive from expectant parents are “will you replace my partner in the delivery room?” I think this is such a caring and great question because we don’t often realize how much our partners really want to be in the trenches with us.
The thing is, men are still a very new part to this birthing world. For centuries, men were not allowed in the delivery room and would wait for news that their child made it safely into the world and that mom is doing okay. I have seen partners pace back and forth or sit quietly in the corner, yearning to help but not knowing how.
So how can a doula help not just the birthing mother but the family unit as a whole? Can she offer support that extends past the expectant mother?
Mothers across the world are deserving of the best support team possible, but dads and partners are also just as deserving of support. By providing support for dad, a doula helps him to support the mother as well. I like to tell people that doulas have an intimate knowledge of birth and your partner has intimate knowledge of you. Together we make the perfect birth team.
Below I have included some ways that doulas can be there for partners too, as well as how our role is more than just mother focused.
A Doula Can Help You Become a World-Class Birthing Partner!
Are you scared that when the time comes you won’t remember the information you learned in those birthing classes? Are you worried that you will freeze or faint? Doulas are a great resource to have on hand as you can ask her any questions in real time and get an answer back immediately.
Doulas are trained birth professionals who are taught how to apply counter pressure, use a rebozo cloth, and are fluent in various birth positions. She isn’t there to replace you in providing comfort; she’s there to help guide you in supporting your partner. Having a doula present means she can show you how to help your birth partner so that you can get in the trenches and work as a team to bring your baby into this world!
A Doula Can Provide Support However Dad Needs It.
It isn’t uncommon for labor to span the course of a couple of meals or even last longer than a few days. If you aren’t showing yourself self-care, it’s hard to provide adequate support to an exhausted mother. When a doula is part of a birth team, she can offer practical support so you can meet your basic needs, so you can be at your best for mama.
Whether this means running out to get food or staying with the birthing woman so you can grab a nap, having the right birth team makes it effortless for you and your partner to feel supported at all times.
A Doula Can Reduce Your Stress Factor.
Like I pointed out earlier, birth has changed a lot in the last century. When we view birth in history, we see women rallied around a birthing mother, each knowing their part and relieving others at times of fatigue in order to offer continuous birth support. It wasn’t until recently that we have seen a shift in how things are done, and we are now seeing less and less people on a woman’s birthing team.
This often leaves dad (or partner) as the sole support for mom. This can become tiring quickly, making it harder to continuously support mom and make clear decisions. Being the sole emotional and physical support for a laboring woman can be overwhelming for some partners. Dads provide an intimate and essential role that cannot be replaced, but a doula can come alongside to help relieve the pressure of being the sole support of a laboring woman
At the end of the day, we all want what’s best for mom and baby. Coming together can increase the chances of having a satisfying birth experience, one where you will bond and come out better for it in the end! A doula just increases those chances.